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Bombs in Gaza, riots in France - Page 2 - UniLang

Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

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IpseDixit
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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby IpseDixit » 2014-07-24, 11:21

Levike wrote:What's wrong with an asymetrical warfare.

This way it's ensured that one part might win rapidly
so everything might soon come to an end.

If they were equal, in the sense that more weapons for the Palestinians,
the casualties would only get higher.


Which is against the IV Geneva Convention which says that retaliation is not permissable and that the military reaction must be proportionate to the adversary's violation.

Moreover Israel is targeting certain civilian infrastructures, like hospitals, which again is in violation of the IV Geneva Convention.

Levike wrote:
The same thing that's wrong with all warfare;
it's organized, systematic murder on a massive scale.
I didn't say it's okay,
I just pointed out that in case they got to be equal it would be worse.


No, I doubt it would be worse, if they were equally powerful, both sides would be more interested in seeking a peace agreement. Instead right now, why should Israel care about ceasing fire when the risk it is running is really minimal?

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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby meidei » 2014-07-24, 11:34

Now, Hamas is also shooting rockets pretty much indiscriminately as well. The difference is, they are ineffective, and Israel's anti-missile defences are vastly superior, which fortunately means that only 1 Israeli had to die in this senseless new round of conflict.
To me it's incomprehensible why Israel chooses to escalate this by killing 600+ Palestinians in return, when what I assume Israel must want, is to allow moderate Palestinians to regain power from Islamist hardliners.
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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby Saim » 2014-07-24, 11:54

Depends on who in Israel, this is not a homogenous society we're talking about. Many ultraorthodox Jews and other Zionist hardliners actively want Israel to occupy all of Palestine, and others who are not that radical are still often too blinded by hate and paranoia to contemplate what concrete steps they could take to end the conflict.

An important thing to note is that from their point of view, they've already made compromises that have been rejected by the Arabs - a big sore point that Israelis tend to highlight is that the Arabs didn't accept the original UN partition plan, resulting in the 1948 war where Arab states invaded Israel and then the exodus of Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews from Muslim-majority countries. Unfortunately the concurrent Palestinian Nakba (exodus of Arabs from Israel into the West Bank, Jordan, Syria and diaspora) is not as widely reflected on in mainstream Israeli politics.
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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby meidei » 2014-07-24, 11:57

Well, when I use the name of a country, I mean the government. Governments aren't directly controlled by the people, so I'm trying to guess what the government would prefer.
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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby Levike » 2014-07-24, 12:04

IpseDixit wrote:Which is against the IV Geneva Convention which says that retaliation is not permissable and that the military reaction must be proportionate to the adversary's violation.
We all not that that is almost never the case.
Usually during wars, sadly, rules don't really apply.
Moreover Israel is targeting certain civilian infrastructures, like hospitals, which again is in violation of the IV Geneva Convention.
I agree, as can everyone else in this matter.
No, I doubt it would be worse, if they were equally powerful, both sides would be more interested in seeking a peace agreement. Instead right now, why should Israel care about ceasing fire when the risk it is running is really minimal?
Not necessarily.Given both sides pride,
it might just be like now except that the Jewish would also have great losses.
Anyway, this is just speculation from my side as well.
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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby Yasna » 2014-07-24, 13:28

I find it hard to sympathize with either side, but I find it pretty ridiculous how strongly the US supports Israel. Despite Israel's size, it is for all practical purposes the superpower of its region. No other regional country can challenge it militarily or technologically.

It seems like Israel is incrementally occupying Palestine until Palestine has been completely integrated into Israel. And the only thing that could stop it is the rise of a powerful Arab state, which is not on the horizon.
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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby linguoboy » 2014-07-24, 14:14

Yasna wrote:I find it hard to sympathize with either side

I see more than two sides to this conflict. There's the leadership of Israel and the leadership of Hamas, both of which are, in their own ways, calculating and callous. And then there are the ordinary Palestinians who are getting screwed over by both parties. Every time I see someone posting about their suffering, someone else always responds with, "Yeah, but Hamas!" Talk about "whataboutism"!
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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby IpseDixit » 2014-07-24, 20:08

Israel bombing UNRWA school... :roll: I'm having a déjà vu from Cast Lead...

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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby Babelfish » 2014-07-26, 20:36

IpseDixit wrote:Which is against the IV Geneva Convention which says that retaliation is not permissable and that the military reaction must be proportionate to the adversary's violation.

Moreover Israel is targeting certain civilian infrastructures, like hospitals, which again is in violation of the IV Geneva Convention.
Not exactly. The IV Geneva Convention requires that the military gain from an action be proportionate to the damage to civilians and civilian infrastructure. Hospitals and other civilian structures become legitimate targets if military activity takes place in them (e.g. shooting from them...), and Israel has warned the hospital 2-3 days in advance to evacuate as per the convention - actually I'm not sure what the convention says, but they should've done it anyway.
Damn, the link I had to the text of the convention doesn't work.
IpseDixit wrote:Israel bombing UNRWA school... :roll: I'm having a déjà vu from Cast Lead...
UNRWA even admitted that rockets were found in one of their schools (I also heard that they were later given to Hamas, but haven't checked any details).
meidei wrote:Now, Hamas is also shooting rockets pretty much indiscriminately as well. The difference is, they are ineffective, and Israel's anti-missile defences are vastly superior, which fortunately means that only 1 Israeli had to die in this senseless new round of conflict.
To me it's incomprehensible why Israel chooses to escalate this by killing 600+ Palestinians in return, when what I assume Israel must want, is to allow moderate Palestinians to regain power from Islamist hardliners.
Because we're not gonna wait until Hamas figures out a way to overcome the anti-missile defences, or manage to mass-murder Israelis in another way - tunnels, divers, whatever. But they're hiding the rocket launchers and tunnels entrances in dense civilian population, unfortunately this is the result, even with Israel taking steps to reduce the number of casualties.
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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby Prowler » 2014-07-26, 21:02

Never liked the idea of demonizing either side. Each side has its good and bad people. Obviously, each side also has people who don't want the conflict to end. Or that just want to crush the other side.

It's pretty ignorant how some people use this conflict as an excuse to act anti-semitic or islamophobic.
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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby linguoboy » 2014-07-26, 22:00

Babelfish wrote:
IpseDixit wrote:Israel bombing UNRWA school... :roll: I'm having a déjà vu from Cast Lead...
UNRWA even admitted that rockets were found in one of their schools (I also heard that they were later given to Hamas, but haven't checked any details).

Yes: an empty one. More to the point, there's no evidence that any rockets at all were stored in the school in Beit Hanoun which was hit and Israel isn't even claiming there were.

We don't have any third-party confirmation that most of the civilian dwellings, school, hospitals, and the like which have been destroyed by the IDF were actually being used for military purposes at the time. The Palestinians living and working in them deny it. The IDF, from what I've seen, rarely issues specific justifications for why particular buildings were targeted. As documented by human rights NGO B'Tselem, they prefer to be artfully vague:
Over the course of the current operation, the IDF Spokesperson changed the wording of statements concerning these bombings, apparently in an attempt to retroactively match his reports of reality to the requirements of the law. The first statement (8 July) reported that "among the targets attacked were four homes of activists in the Hamas terror organization who are involved in terrorist activity and direct and carry out high-trajectory fire towards Israel…”. The next day, another statement was issued reporting that the military had attacked additional homes of Hamas activists "which functioned as command and control infrastructure for the organization” or as "a control center for advancing terrorism". The same evening, the IDF Spokesperson stopped reporting that homes were destroyed, stating instead that "the operational infrastructure of a senior Hamas functionary was attacked".
In the case of the school, the IDF claims there that Hamas was active in the area and they were responding to that. (They've even gone so far as to claim the shell could've been misfired by Hamas.) I haven't seen that corroborated.

Babelfish wrote:But they're hiding the rocket launchers and tunnels entrances in dense civilian population, unfortunately this is the result, even with Israel taking steps to reduce the number of casualties.

Yes, it's very "unfortunate", isn't it? But not so unfortunate that you can't get some enjoyment from it.
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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby Mikey93 » 2014-07-27, 2:05

Saim wrote:Depends on who in Israel, this is not a homogenous society we're talking about. Many ultraorthodox Jews and other Zionist hardliners actively want Israel to occupy all of Palestine, and others who are not that radical are still often too blinded by hate and paranoia to contemplate what concrete steps they could take to end the conflict.


That is actually far from truth. It’s exactly haredim/ultraorthodox Jews who are against the existence of Israel. For them only the true messiah should gather the exiles in the Holy Land (therefore they refuse to abide by its laws). Same with the Zionists. Zionism is not synonymous with imperialism. Zionism goal per se is developing the state of Israel and not enlarging its borders and occupying Palestine territories. I don't doubt there are chauvinists in Israel as in every country, but these are just unfounded conjectures. Anyway, I wonder where you’ve got that information from.

Saim wrote:An important thing to note is that from their point of view, they've already made compromises that have been rejected by the Arabs - a big sore point that Israelis tend to highlight is that the Arabs didn't accept the original UN partition plan, resulting in the 1948 war where Arab states invaded Israel and then the exodus of Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews from Muslim-majority countries. Unfortunately the concurrent Palestinian Nakba (exodus of Arabs from Israel into the West Bank, Jordan, Syria and diaspora) is not as widely reflected on in mainstream Israeli politics.

I would say that “from the point of view of an educated human being”. Arabs did not accept any plan that would include an existence of state of the Jews in the Middle East (even in 1967 during Khartoum Arab Summit they adhered “No peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiation with Israel”). Originally there would be two independent sovereign states with Jerusalem as enclave. Palestine would have much greater territory then it had after the War of Independence or al-Nakba if you will. And indeed, a great number of Arabs fled the area for more secure locations in the Gaza Strip and West Bank and in the neighbouring Arab states, but it also should be noted that Israel, a tiny country comparing to its neighbours countries, received FAR greater number of refugees from Europe and Arab states, and made them equal citizens despite the great cultural and language barrier (Palestinians have equal rights in Israel as well!!). Whereas the Palestinians who fled to neighbouring Arab countries were (are) kept in internment camps and never became equal, even after 2 or 3 generations. And why? To keep their national consciousness strong enough and to ensure future fedayeen actions.
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The justifications for such an exclusion from international protection mechanisms are various. They are not, however, in line with the overwhelmingly accepted conviction of the need to ensure and enhance respect for basic human rights for each person, regardless of nationality, religion, ethnicity and gender. This paper has both challenged the approach of international law and international organizations and has largely rejected arguments used to justify the politics of exclusion exercised by a series of host Arab states in the name of Palestinian national interest. The basic rights of Palestinian refugees, including their right to a legal status (the right to have rights) cannot be sacrificed in the name of their right to return.


linguoboy wrote:We don't have any third-party confirmation that most of the civilian dwellings, school, hospitals, and the like which have been destroyed by the IDF were actually being used for military purposes at the time. The Palestinians living and working in them deny it. The IDF, from what I've seen, rarely issues specific justifications for why particular buildings were targeted.

It follows logically that there is no such a confirmation, and there won’t be, because it’s simply impossible. However, Palestinians do get at least warnings before such an action is taken. More than 2000 rockets have been fired at Israel since the beginning of the operation targeting civilians and no warning, but it’s just fine because most of them were intercepted right? So absurd....
http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/07/15/palestinian-officials-openly-fault-hamas-for-war-crimes/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjzS27ylCZ8
The missiles that are now being launched against Israel – each and every missile constitutes a crime against humanity, whether it hits or misses, because it is directed at civilian targets

linguoboy wrote:Yes, it's very "unfortunate", isn't it? But not so unfortunate that you can't get some enjoyment from it.

What this sarcastic remark is supposed to prove? A moral decay? Sure all the Israelis got the pleasure from it and all the Palestinians in Gaza suffer.
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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby linguoboy » 2014-07-27, 2:56

Mikey93 wrote:
linguoboy wrote:We don't have any third-party confirmation that most of the civilian dwellings, school, hospitals, and the like which have been destroyed by the IDF were actually being used for military purposes at the time. The Palestinians living and working in them deny it. The IDF, from what I've seen, rarely issues specific justifications for why particular buildings were targeted.

It follows logically that there is no such a confirmation, and there won’t be, because it’s simply impossible.

Why, because the bombing obliterates the evidence? Convenient, that. "Logically", the IDF knows what intelligence it chose to trust when choosing its targets and could make that evidence known if it chose. But that would require its citizens demanding accountability for actions taken in their names.

Mikey93 wrote:However, Palestinians do get at least warnings before such an action is taken.

So the IDF claims, but again we lack independent confirmation. Victims regularly claim not to have received them in time or at all. Regardless, this doesn't make a difference as far as international law is concerned; illegitimately targeting a civilian building is a crime whether a warning is issued or not.

Moreover, I fail to see how "knocking on the roof" makes any real sense as a military tactic. If the goal is to take out Hamas fighters, well, a warning gives them time to grab their weapons and go. It's the civilians who are less able to evacuate--particularly if they are infirm or disabled. Whatever the justification for the strikes, the result of them is to cripple Gaza's civilian infrastructure, such as its only rehabilitation hospital.

Mikey93 wrote:More than 2000 rockets have been fired at Israel since the beginning of the operation targeting civilians and no warning, but it’s just fine because most of them were intercepted right?

Strawman: no one says this is "fine". Try to find a human rights organisation--Amnesty International, B'Tselem, UNRWA--that hasn't condemned Hamas' rockets. Everyone agrees these are war crimes. But remember the principle of "proportionality". How many thousand rockets which fall without causing a single casualty justify the bombing of one hospital, public beach, or refugee centre? Right now the ratio of Palestinian to Israeli civilian deaths is running at about 194 to 1. (An improvement over Operation Cast Lead where it was 253 to 1.)

Mikey93 wrote:
linguoboy wrote:Yes, it's very "unfortunate", isn't it? But not so unfortunate that you can't get some enjoyment from it.

What this sarcastic remark is supposed to prove? A moral decay?

That's one interpretation. It also rather refutes the idea that this is a war Israel was "forced into" in order to "protect" its citizenry rather than a war of choice primarily intended to advance short-term political goals. It didn't have to launch a full-scale invasion of highly-populated areas in order to deal with some mortar shells.
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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby mōdgethanc » 2014-07-27, 23:49

Yasna wrote:I find it hard to sympathize with either side, but I find it pretty ridiculous how strongly the US supports Israel. Despite Israel's size, it is for all practical purposes the superpower of its region. No other regional country can challenge it militarily or technologically.
And you don't see how US support has played a role in that?
linguoboy wrote:I see more than two sides to this conflict. There's the leadership of Israel and the leadership of Hamas, both of which are, in their own ways, calculating and callous. And then there are the ordinary Palestinians who are getting screwed over by both parties. Every time I see someone posting about their suffering, someone else always responds with, "Yeah, but Hamas!" Talk about "whataboutism"!
The irony is that Hamas is, from what I gather, very popular in Gaza because of their provision of essential services despite being a large part of the reason the peace process has failed so far. It wouldn't be the first time that people have supported a party when it's in many ways not in their interest - look at how many low-income Americans vote Republican.

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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby linguoboy » 2014-07-28, 3:49

mōdgethanc wrote:The irony is that Hamas is, from what I gather, very popular in Gaza because of their provision of essential services despite being a large part of the reason the peace process has failed so far. It wouldn't be the first time that people have supported a party when it's in many ways not in their interest - look at how many low-income Americans vote Republican.

In general, I think it's a mistake to assume that you understand someone's self-interest better than they do. The Republican Party may be inimical to the economic interests of low-income voters, but those aren't the only interests they have.

So it is with Gaza. As this article explains, the blockade has been a misery for its inhabitants and the majority still see military action as their best option for getting it lifted. To think that they tolerate Hamas' bellicose adventurism because they value their humanitarian aid to view the situation almost exactly backwards.
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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby meidei » 2014-07-28, 16:04

I've read this article today (actually I stumbled upon a Greek translation of it here first)

What does Hamas really want?
Read the list of conditions published in the name of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and judge honestly whether there is one unjust demand among them.

After we’ve said everything there is to say about Hamas: that it’s fundamentalist; that it’s undemocratic; that it’s cruel; that it does not recognize Israel; that it fires on civilians; that it’s hiding ammunition in schools and hospitals; that it did not act to protect the population of Gaza – after all that has been said, and rightly so, we should stop for a moment and listen to Hamas; we may even be permitted to put ourselves in its shoes, perhaps even to appreciate the daring and resilience of this, our bitter enemy, under harsh conditions.

But Israel prefers to shut its ears to the demands of the other side, even when those demands are right and conform to Israel’s own interests in the long run. Israel prefers to strike Hamas without mercy and with no purpose other than revenge. This time it is particularly clear: Israel says it does not want to topple Hamas – even Israel understands that instead it will have Somalia at its gates – but it is also unwilling to listen to Hamas’ demands. Are they all “animals”? Let’s say that’s true. But they are there to stay, even Israel believes that’s the case, so why not listen?

Last week 10 conditions were published in the name of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, for a 10-year cease-fire. We may doubt whether these were in fact the demands of those organizations, but they can serve as a fair basis for an agreement. There is not one unfounded condition among them.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad demand freedom for Gaza. Is there a more understandable and just demand? There is no way to end the current cycle of killing, and not have another round in a few months, without accepting this. No military operation, by air, ground or sea, will bring a solution; only a basic change of attitude toward Gaza can ensure what everyone wants: quiet.

Read the list of demands and judge honestly whether there is one unjust demand among them: withdrawal of Israel Defense Forces troops and allowing farmers to work their land up to the fence; release of all prisoners from the Gilad Shalit swap who have been rearrested; an end to the siege and opening of the crossings; opening of a port and airport under UN management; expansion of the fishing zone; international supervision of the Rafah crossing; an Israeli pledge to a 10-year cease-fire and closure of Gaza’s air space to Israeli aircraft; permits to Gaza residents to visit Jerusalem and pray at the Al-Aqsa mosque; and an Israeli pledge not to interfere in internal Palestinian politics such as the unity government; opening Gaza’s industrial zone.

These conditions are civilian; the means of achieving them are military, violent and criminal. But the (bitter) truth is that when Gaza is not firing rockets at Israel, nobody cares about it. Look at the fate of the Palestinian leader who had had enough of violence. Israel did everything it could to destroy Mahmoud Abbas. The depressing conclusion? Only force works.

The current war is a war of choice, a choice that we had. True, after Hamas started firing rockets, Israel had to respond. But as opposed to what Israeli propaganda tries to sell, the rockets didn’t fall out of the sky from nowhere. Go back a few months: the breakdown of negotiations by Israel; the war on Hamas in the West Bank following the murder of the three yeshiva students, which it is doubtful Hamas planned, including the false arrest of 500 of its activists; stopping payment of salaries to Hamas workers in Gaza and Israeli opposition to the unity government, which might have brought the organization into the political sphere. Anyone who thinks all this would simply be taken in stride must be suffering from arrogance, complacence and blindness.

Terrifying amounts of blood are being spilled in Gaza – and in Israel to a lesser extent. It is being spilled in vain. Hamas is beaten down by Israel and humiliated by Egypt. The only chance for a real solution is exactly the opposite of the way Israel is going. A port in Gaza to export its excellent strawberries? To Israelis this sounds like heresy. Here once again, the preference is for (Palestinian) blood over (Palestinian) strawberries.
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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby meidei » 2014-07-28, 17:42

I've also just read this short blog post on Gaza, which comes from a communist perspective. I translate:
"At least you've got your health, even if stuff break down"
Image
I have a comrade, a builder by trade, but a furniture maker in the past, and many other jobs before that. He lives in the poorest of the refugee neighbours in Cyprus. He doesn't have Internet, but even if he did, he wouldn't write anything — he just buys an extra copy of The Radical every Sunday and leaves it at the coffee shop for everyone to read. But we do talk whenever we meet, often for hours to no end. The other day, while in his yard, he tells me:

- It's quite bad that many people considers machines and tools as dead things. When someone has a car accident they say "At least you've got your health, even if stuff break down". But if your livelihood depends from that car, then it's not just a car breaking down, you also stop being able to live. For the worker, there's no difference between a tool, a machine and the body, they are all means of production, means of conserving his life and the life of his family.

The most "innocent" photographs you can find from Gaza nowadays are those of disembowelled, mutilated buildings. Destroyed infrastructure. Burnt cars. And that's a relief for "humanism" because "at least you've got your health". It's a false sense of relief, that one. Even if the bombs and the rocket didn't touch a human's hair, the destruction of the mean of production from which the livelihood of people depends is also murder. From what will those people derive their livelihood, when standing upon the hill of death? What is there? Where's he fish, where's the crops and flour to make the bread that nourishes people? Two and a half weeks of bombing before a ceasefire enough to allow some of the besieged to try to fish. What about electric power to allow them to cook, if they manage to get the fish? PIt's enough that you are alive, let the things break downower to conserve food? Dishes? A kitchen? Water? Or rather, where's the ability for a future survival on this place?

"At least you've got your health, even if stuff break down": The philosophy of the people who are convinced that everyone has the money to replace the stuff that broke down. That all people are in position to look at stuff and see them purely as "stuff". In a word, their ideology.
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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby Lietmotiv » 2014-07-28, 19:13

The thread's title is "Bombs in Gaza, riots...". How about "Bombs in Gaza AND Israel?"

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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby linguoboy » 2014-07-28, 21:20

Lietmotiv wrote:The thread's title is "Bombs in Gaza, riots...". How about "Bombs in Gaza AND Israel?"

Why don't we add "riots in Israel" while we're at it?

I'm sorry you don't feel the subject line reflects the current situation with sufficient accuracy. I could simply change it to read "Unrest in the Middle East". We'd never have to alter it again for as long as the forum exists.
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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby mōdgethanc » 2014-07-29, 3:21

linguoboy wrote:In general, I think it's a mistake to assume that you understand someone's self-interest better than they do. The Republican Party may be inimical to the economic interests of low-income voters, but those aren't the only interests they have.

So it is with Gaza. As this article explains, the blockade has been a misery for its inhabitants and the majority still see military action as their best option for getting it lifted. To think that they tolerate Hamas' bellicose adventurism because they value their humanitarian aid to view the situation almost exactly backwards.
On the whole I would agree, but in this case I'm pretty confident in saying their current approach hasn't worked out all that well for them.


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